Name: Jody Gehrman
Book Title: Watch Me
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Is this your first book? No, this is my eleventh published novel. It is, however, my first foray into psychological suspense.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
I went the traditional publishing route. I’ve explored just about every method of publishing—indie, hybrid, digital-first, trade paper, hardcover, audiobooks. While there are pros and cons to each, I love working with topnotch editors and publicity teams at major houses. Doing it all myself was too draining.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
I signed my first book deal almost fifteen years ago with a major house. My first novel went to auction and we ended up with a three-book deal, which was exhilarating. I’d been scraping by as a writer for years, so it was a huge affirmation to finally feel wanted. When that deal was through I switched to writing Young Adult and signed a three-book deal with Penguin. After that, I wanted to explore indie publishing, which I did for a bit. Honestly, though, I found myself doing so much work on publicity, book design, and marketing that I felt overwhelmed. I’m thrilled to be working now with St. Martin’s Press and tackling a genre that’s new to me. I find writing suspense cathartic and invigorating.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Writing can be lonely. Collaborating with a team of professionals who are authentically excited about your book really helps counter that sense of isolation. Also, it gives you more time to write; they can handle the aspects of publishing you’re not trained to tackle. I have a huge amount of respect for indie writers who do it all. I’ve just come to the realization that I’m not that writer.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Yes, especially if you thrive on collaboration. It’s all about finding a home for your book that feels right. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented and articulate publishing professionals around. I learn so much from them. Eleven novels into my career, I still feel like I’m learning the ropes, especially since the publishing world is always in flux.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Surround yourself with people who understand the challenges of a creative life. Focus on the daily pleasures of doing the work. Enjoy the accolades, but remember that external validation is your dessert. Real nourishment comes from the work itself.